Chapter Three: Few and Far Between
Rated: T for sensuality and violence
Based upon Sanctuary, created by Damian Kindler
Note: I've changed the rating of this entire story to "T."
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They were few and far between. He never knew when to expect them. They would come at absolutely random times, years apart, maybe a decade even, or only a few months.
They were days of sanity.
They were days that he was no longer the crazed killer that craved the blood of young women - that survived, thrived on it, even. They were days that he was the man that Helen Magnus had fallen in love with so many years ago. They were the days that he was the "himself" that had been locked away behind the bloodlust and the rage.
They would always begin the same. He would wake and suddenly he wasn't angry. The dark shadow that lurked in his mind was gone. Memories of the dream which would always end the day - as well as the other atrocities he'd committed - would rush into his mind, and he would promptly empty the contents of his stomach.
After finally calming himself and allowing his breathing to steady and the sweat on his forehead to cool, he would admire the scenery. Where ever he was, he would look around and see it for it's beauty and not as a potential playground for the hunt.
Then he would think of his Helen. Sweet, beautiful, Helen.
He would transport himself to London and walk along the street where her father's home had been. The same street they would stroll along on Sunday afternoons. From the beginning of their courtship, to after their engagement, until long after the development of the more sinful nature of their relationship, they would walk. The last time they had done it, her arm was linked with his, her hand rested close to his wrist, appropriate for an engaged couple.
He would transport himself to Rome. He would walk along the banks of the Tiber for a short while before touring the city. He walked aimlessly, admiring the architecture Helen had so loved. He had brought her to Rome many times during their courtship. It was Rome where they had first sailed to heaven and back; charting a mutually unknown course together.
It had been an unnaturally warm summer night. He had meant to take her home hours before, but they had had a late dinner and time had gotten away from them. They decided to find lodgings for the evening and return to London the following day after some more time in the lovely city. Neither of them spoke Italian very well and had struggled through reserving a room at a small inn, but succeeded none-the-less.
The gentleman who owned the establishment brought them to a single room on the top floor. John glanced somewhat nervously at Helen. The man had assumed they were married. But, what would have told him otherwise? She had a ring on her finger and they were unaccompanied in the small hours of the night.
John thanked the man and locked the door, turning to find Helen standing on the balcony overlooking the city. He closed the distance between them and stood a pace behind her. Sensing his presence, she stepped back into him. Helen had reached down and pulled his arms around her. He was startled at first, standing stiff behind her. She was so relaxed, so comfortable, so trusting; he relaxed as well.
Some time later she turned and started advancing on him. She had a look in her eyes he had never seen before. He backed away from her, still somewhat nervous, tripping and falling onto the bed. She started removing her clothing, piece by agonizing piece. "Helen," he had managed to breathe.
A sly smile spread across her face. "They do think we're married."
Afterwards, she lay half sprawled across his chest, her golden locks fanned over her back and his chest, her breaths slow and deep. Only the sheet covered them, protecting their sweat sheen skin from the breeze of the open balcony. His mind raced in terror.
What if her father found out? What if they couldn't get married soon enough? What if she changed her mind? What if it could never happen again?
"John," her voice interrupted his frantic thoughts, he had thought she'd been asleep. She placed a kiss on his sternum. "Ignore propriety for a moment and sleep."
"Of course, my dear," he whispered, unconvincingly he knew.
She propped herself up on her elbows above him, her hair falling to curtain their faces. She gazed at him in the dim light. "Fear not, Mister Druitt, you'll make an honest woman out of me yet." She leaned down and placed a gentle kiss of his lips before returning to her place on his chest.
Her confidence and unwavering trust in him always moved him on days like these. Days which he was himself again.
Finally he would retire for the evening, knowing that before the sun rose he would become the monster again. At least, in his dreams he could hold her once more. So, he would lay down and allow himself to relax with thoughts of Helen drowning his senses. The dream would flood his mind, always the same.
He would teleport to the foyer of their home in London and hear voices from the study. Helen's and James'. They were discussing some part of their work. From what he could hear, they were both intensely involved in the conversation and did not hear him arrive. Well, James probably had, but was not revealing anything.
John would saunter into room, "Good evening, my dear." He would reach for her hand, from behind the settee she sat upon, and brush his lips across it. He would deliberately avoid her wide eyed gaze; she would always be shocked to see him. He would then round the furniture and offer his hand to his friend.
"Evening entertainment of my wife in my absence? Really, James, I thought we were better friends," he would say with a good deal of joviality.
"What can I say, John," James would play along, "I simply can't help myself when I see a gorgeous woman unattended."
"John," Helen would greet him with her endearing lilt, a beaming smile encompassing her face. She would stand. "James, if you would excuse us for a moment."
James would always reply with a witty comment feigning their bad manners, and John would follow her to the foyer. She would stand intoxicatingly close to him, placing her hand on his chest and sneaking it underneath the lapel of his vest. "Ask James to leave," she would say in a dark, lustful tone just barely above a whisper, holding his gaze and complete attention.
"Helen, we shouldn't be rude."
"You've been too long from my skirts," she would whisper, leaning into him ever so slightly.
The brashness of her words made him want to teleport them to their bedroom instantly, leaving James to find his own way out. She had that effect on him.
The trance they would find themselves in would be broken by James. "I know when I've overstayed my welcome."
Helen would jump, ripping her hand from his chest and turning to James, a blush crowding her cheeks. "Please, James, stay." Her modesty and embarrassment would temporarily cool her blood.
"Your husband has been gone too long from your . . . home."
Helen would blush, again, at his words.
James would place a kiss on her cheek and extend his hand to John, giving a firm and brief shake. "Good night, my friends. I shall call tomorrow, perhaps a meal around one?"
"Sounds lovely," Helen would reply, a hint of relief in her voice.
They would follow James to the door as he put on his hat and coat and leave their residence with a final "good evening." John would lock the door behind him and turn to Helen. She would reach for him, he would cup her cheek, and with an ounce of effort, they stood in their bedroom.
Then, as dreams do, the situation would lose it's linear quality, and he would be following her down onto their bed, clothed in nothing but the night. He would tangle one of his hands onto her long golden tresses and snake the other down her body. She would only release his lips to gasp for air.
Clasping her hands behind his neck, she would hold his face close to hers. "I've missed you," she would whisper before bringing his lips back to hers.
"As have I, love," he would whisper against her lips. And he had. He had missed her presence, her laugh, the sound of her voice, the feel of her warm skin against his. He missed the sounds of her labored breathing at times like these. He missed her.
He wanted her blood. He needed her blood. He reached to the stand beside their bed and gingerly took hold of the knife there. He would have her blood.
John would fall to the control of the monster and watch as he cut his dear Helen apart with no remorse, only an addicted need for her blood to cover him, to soak their sheets.
Over and over, he would start anew. Somehow, she would be whole once again, the fiery passion in her eyes just waiting to be snuffed out by a few inches of well managed steel. Her screams would echo in his mind before she begun to drown in her own blood.
He would wake. The Ripper would kill again.
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